Medicare Expenditures, Quality Rating System Grab Headlines
Kaiser Health News looks at criticisms of the government's program for rewarding higher-quality Medicare Advantage plans, while Modern Healthcare reports on a memo from the Medicare actuary that projects expenditures in the federal health care program.
Kaiser Health News: Second Guessing Medicare's Star Rating System
As the federal government pumps billions of bonus dollars into private Medicare health plans to encourage better care, the quality rating system used to award the bonuses is coming under increasing fire (Werber Serafini, 5/20).
Modern Healthcare: CMS Actuaries See Higher Medicare Costs
Based on the premise that the 2012 Medicare Trustees Report's projections are "clearly unrealistic," a new memo from the CMS Office of the Actuary lays out hypothetical alternatives that estimate higher expenditures for the federal healthcare program. The annual Medicare Trustees Report is based on projections under current law; the most recent report was released last month. But the report portrays a view that is too optimistic, the CMS memo contends, as it incorporates mandated reductions for most Medicare services (Zigmond, 5/20).